Eric Colville
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Eric Colville

Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States

Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter

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With a band full of New Hampshire musicians, recent Florida transplant Eric Colville burst onto the scene with an album that began down south, but was refined here. Afraid to Dance is a tremendous debut of singer-songwriter acoustic guitar based pop rock songs. I wasn't even finished listening to the first song, "Five Days Over," when I knew this was music and an artist I'd want to hear more of. Colville has a strong mid-range voice that commands attention throughout the ten tracks. His vocal sound is sort of unique. There's a resemblance to The Smithereens' Pat DiNizio, and the lead singer from Del Amitri specifically on "Josephine." Despite a frequent, upbeat full band approach on the album, it's obvious that Colville and his acoustic guitar is the basis to every song. This was proven to me recently as I saw him play two gigs this summer. The first was an acoustic duo with his bass player (a show I booked). The other gig was the Jam Magazine 6th Birthday Bash, which was with a full band. In both instances, the performances were different from each other and involving musicians who were still relatively new to Colville's compositions. Yet, the songs are so good at the core, that no one would ever be able to tell how new the rest of the crew is. Back to the CD, there isn't a single weak spot on it, except maybe my getting tired of "Back to Bed" after the 150th cycle through. "Afraid to Dance" is a great rock-pop tune with a catchy chorus and sing along ease – radio friendly. "Don't Wanna Fall," the album's best, is a tremendous love song that any musician would wish was their own. "View from Above" is a strong mid-tempo number about mortality, and "Someone in the World" is a wonderful contemplative ballad about searching for love. And all the songs in between are just as good. Every now and then someone comes along that turns heads in a matter of minutes and Eric Colville is the latest.
- Jam Music Magazine


Eric Colville Ok, this song is just out-of-control great. Seriously, I couldn't stop playing Eric Colville's "Afraid to Dance." Starting off with a super funky, electronic rhythm hook, at first you think this is going to be some dance track, but then Eric's smooth, soulful vocals kick in and this wild rock guitar drops down into the mix, and the next thing you know, you're rocking out. Punctuated with a transcendent, inspirational chorus -- "Did you ever take a chance?/are you afraid to dance?" -- Eric's thoughtful, clever lyrics and unpredictable rhymes are signs of a real rock and roll poet in the making. To pull up two very contemporary influences, I'd say this song would appeal to fans of John Mayer and the Goo Goo Dolls, as it's somewhat of a hybrid of the two, but with stronger blues/funk influences. Not to mention the fact that Eric's backing band kicks total ass and this recording is flawlessly produced. If I heard "Afraid to Dance" on the radio or saw a video on TV, I would want to hear more of Eric's stuff, and that's the test to pass, I think. Absolutely, compulsively listenable. A+.
--Gail Worley - Starpolish


CD REVIEW: Eric Colville – “Afraid to Dance” By Stacey Board - 08/28/02 - 01:53 PM EST
“Afraid to Dance” is as much a statement as it is a question to the mirror and to the listener. It's also a really good CD. The title song was a perfect choice, as the songs in this collection play all sides of that metaphorical fence. Colville’s songwriting casts him as sometimes vulnerable, “Don’t Want To Fall”, sometimes confident “Back to Bed”, sometimes adoring, “Angelina”, sometimes full of doubt, “Someone in the World”, and sometimes just turning it around on you, “Afraid to Dance”. Sometimes he’s dancing; sometimes he’s watching the dance. He does both quite well. Colville is not someone trying to impress you by knowing all the answers. Exploring the questions is a more interesting pastime anyway. Especially when it means doing that with Eric’s persuasive way with catchy melodies and grooves. His more up-tempo tunes are the stronger tunes for me personally, but his smooth vocals are a pleasure on every song. He’s found a great producer in Mac Ritchey. The two of them have done a great job with arrangements, and compiled top-notch support players on the record.
- Stacey Board


Discography

Afraid to Dance (2002), Five (2004)

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Bio

What you notice first about Eric Colville is his voice, which is reminiscent of Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens, or Evan Dando of The Lemonheads. Neither comparison, however, captures the versatility and power of Colvilles vocals. Whether hes being defiant, introspective, or campy depending on the song his voice grabs you and keeps you listening.

Despite having vocals this good, the real genius of Colvilles work lies in his lyrics. Every composition contains rhymes that sound perfectly natural and then persist in your head for days. What are the songs about? Theyre always about something. Clearly, Colville is in his element when mining the pleasures and frustrations of relationships. "Back to Bed" is a sultry invitation for a Sunday morning. "Picture Us Together" and "DMMLY" both rock, but while one revels in the thrill of feeling sure about someone, the second conveys the ambivalence of post-breakup sexual encounters. Then theres the frenetic alt-country "12-Step Program," a wildly singable and danceable tune. Colvilles nuanced songcraft is even more evident when hes treating non-relationship themes. Two iridescently beautiful numbers are "Wind on a Wire" and "35 & Thinking." One describes a momentary glimpse of a young woman ice-skating on a pond; the other contemplates the ugly possibility that it may be time to give up on a long-cherished dream. In contrast, "Man I Am," an over-the-top rant against conventions about what were supposed to do, is impossible not to move your body to. On whatever topic he chooses, Colville manages to deliver a fresh take along with a winning melody.

OK, so what can you expect from an Eric Colville song? Count on his great voice and smart lyrics, a good groove, and some first-rate musicianship and production. The rest is less predictable. Colvilles songs range from playful pop to torchy blues to dark ballads to in-your-face rock. What mood will the next track put you in? Which situation will he take aim at now? How exactly should you categorize his music? Have fun with the questions. And rest assured that the constants in Eric Colvilles music are so strong that once youve heard a few of his songs, youll know exactly what his sound is.

Among his favorite influences, Colville lists Simon & Garfunkel, Mark Knopfler, Wilson Pickett, Brian Setzer, Ry Cooder, Bob Dylan, and the Kings (BB, Albert, and Freddie). The most important figures in his pantheon, however, will always be John, Paul, Ringo, and George. According to Colville, he was basically raised by the Beatles, an oblique reference to a childhood lacking in positive parenting. Perhaps as a result of growing up in the Florida Keys without TV and in range of Havana radio stations, Colvilles perspective on the world is somewhat unusual.

Eric is presently based in Ipswich, on Boston's north shore.

Billboard Songwriting Contest (2006) - Honorable Mention for "Doer's Lament" and "1000 Miles."

USA Songwriting Contest (2006) - Honorable Mention for "Picture Us Together".

Runner-Up - 2006 Singer-Songwriter Awards for "35 & Thinking" as well as an Honourable Mention for "Doer's Lament".

John Lennon Songwriting Contest (2002) - Honorable Mention for "Back to Bed".

Just Plain Folks 2002 Music Awards - Best College Rock Song for "Afraid to Dance".

NEMO Showcase Selection, 2002.

All My Children (ABC) - Aired "Afraid to Dance," "Back to Bed," and "Remember to Forget" as feature presentations 2003 - 2005.

Band Members